Today in History: February 15. What Happened This Day In History

A chronological timetable of historical events that occurred on this day in history. Historical facts of the day in the areas of military, politics, science, music, sports, arts, entertainment and more. Discover what happened today in history.

February 15

1798   The first serious fist fight occurs in Congress.
1804   New Jersey becomes the last northern state to abolish slavery.
1862   Union General Ulysses S. Grant launches a major assault on Fort Donelson, Tenn.
1869   Charges of treason against Jefferson Davis are dropped.
1898   The U.S. battleship Maine blows up in Havana Harbor, killing 268 sailors and bringing hordes of Western cowboys and gunfighters rushing to enlist in the Spanish-American.
1900   The British threaten to use natives in the Boer War fight.
1925   The London Zoo announces it will install lights to cheer up fogged-in animals.
1934   U.S. Congress passes the Civil Works Emergency Relief Act, allotting new funds for Federal Emergency Relief Administration.
1940   Hitler orders that all British merchant ships will be considered warships.
1942   British forces in Singapore surrender to Japanese General Tomoyuki Yamashita.
1943   The Germans break the American Army’s lines at the Fanid-Sened Sector in Tunisia, North Africa.
1944   American bombers attack the Abbey of Monte Cassino in an effort to neutralize it as a German observation post in central Italy.
1946   Royal Canadian mounted police arrest 22 as Soviet spies.
1950   Joseph Stalin and Mao Tse-tung sign a mutual defense treaty in Moscow.
1957   Andrei Gromyko replaces Dmitri T. Shepilov as the Soviet Foreign Minister.
1961   Eighteen members of the U.S. figure skating team are lost in an airplane crash in Belgium.
1965   Canada’s maple leaf flag is raised for the first time.
1967   Thirteen U.S. helicopters are shot down in one day in Vietnam
1974   U.S. gas stations threaten to close because of federal fuel policies.

Born on February 15

1564   Galileo Galilei, Italian astronomer and mathematician.
1710   Louis XV, King of France
1726   Abraham Clark, signer of Declaration of Independence.
1797   Henry Steinway, piano maker
1820   Susan B. Anthony, suffragette and political activist.
1882   John Barrymore, actor, sibling to actors Lionel Barrymore & Ethel Barrymore, father of actors John Drew Barrymore & Diana Barrymore and grandfather of actor Drew Barrymore.
1905   Harold Arlen, composer, arranger and pianist ("Stormy Weather," "It’s Only a Paper Moon").
1954   Matt Groening, cartoonist (The Simpsons).

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